1782 in science
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- December 14 – The Montgolfier brothers first test fly a hot air balloon; it floats nearly 2 km (1.2 mi).
- Jesuit abbot Juan Ignacio Molina publishes Saggio sulla Storia Naturale del Chili in Spain, the first account of the natural history of his native Chile, describing many species to science for the first time (e.g., Araucaria araucana).
- Winter 1782–83 – Antoine Lavoisier and Pierre-Simon Laplace begin to use the world’s first ice calorimeter to determine the heat evolved in various chemical changes (calculations based on Joseph Black's prior discovery of latent heat), marking the foundation of thermochemistry.
- Jean-Paul Marat publishes Recherches physiques sur l'électricité (Research into the Physics of Electricity)
- April 7 – Marie-Anne Libert, Belgian botanist (died 1865)
- June 3 – Charles Waterton, English naturalist and explorer (died 1865)
- June 16 – Olry Terquem, French Jewish geometer (died 1862)
- January 18 – Sir John Pringle, Scottish-born physician (born 1707)
- March 17 – Daniel Bernoulli, Dutch-Swiss mathematician (born 1700)
- May 16 – Daniel Solander, Swedish-born botanist (born 1733)
- May 20 – William Emerson, English mathematician (born 1701)
- Elisabeth Christina von Linné, Swedish botanist (born 1743)
- unknown date – Christine Kirch, German astronomer (born 1696)
- Gillispie, Charles Coulston (1983). The Montgolfier Brothers and the Invention of Aviation, 1783-1784. Princeton University Press. p. 21. ISBN 0-691-08321-5.
- Translated into English as The Geographical, Natural and Civil History of Chili, in two volumes. Volume I,Volume II.
- Betts, Jonathan (2004). "Arnold, John (1735/6–1799)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/677. Retrieved 2012-03-09. (subscription or UK public library membership required)